Magazine article Sculpture

BOSTON: Leigh Hall

Magazine article Sculpture

BOSTON: Leigh Hall

Article excerpt


Leigh Hall

Atlantic Works Gallery

The Atlantic Works Gallery, at the edge of Boston Harbor, occupies the top floor of a repurposed building that was once part of the East Boston shipping industry. Leigh Hall, the sculptor of the two-person exhibition "Metaphors and Metamor phoses" (which also included the assemblages of Suzanne Mercury), combed the streets of the surrounding industrial neighborhood for many of the materials included in the show. Hall uses a combination of needlework techniques to stitch together found pieces of metal wire of different thicknesses. The results are exquisitely wrought, intimate sculptures that range in size from six inches to six feet.

Needlework, once the provenance of the wealthy, is turned on its head by Hall's quirky sensibility, which pairs refined techniques with the humblest of found materials. She combines the common buttonhole stitch, needle weaving, and lacemaking to bind found pieces of wire that have been twisted by their histories into unimaginably intricate shapes. Hall's tiny, considered stitchery integrates them into a direct and spontaneous whole.

Swarm filled the gallery with a sort of "buzz," perhaps a subconscious emanation from its collection of insects suspended in space. Five hundred hand-wrought, delicate wire flies hovered between ceiling and floor in a luminescent cloud. Hall makes ordinary pesky insects incredibly fascinating, each one an exercise in precise design and flawless construction. …

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